Last Monday the schooner Valora was lost after she broke from her mooring outside Vineyard Haven and went up on the breakwater. Friends often heard me say that you never really own a boat like Valora, you just take care of her for future generations. I certainly expected her to outlive me — sadly, this will not be so.

Valora had a large family. She had more friends than me and all who knew her are saddened by her loss. Indeed while writing this, I received a note from another of her friends and take a quote from it here because I cannot express it better: “She really meant so much to me, both as a vessel herself and as the vessel for so many of the loveliest times and friends, which are the most important of all.”

The wooden boat community in Vineyard Haven is a special place and I have spoken to many this week. I would be woefully remiss if I failed to thank (and thank for Valora whose song is now silent) all who thought of her, attempted to rescue her, and aided in her salvage hoping she might be rebuilt. David, Tamora, Nathaniel, Abraham, Lu, Emily, Nat, Peter, the intrepid crew from the shipyard who attempted in vain to pull her off the rocks . . . the list goes on and surely includes others of whom I am not aware. Thank you all.

Two weeks ago Valora sailed with my entire family aboard and we scattered my mother’s ashes in Vineyard Sound. Now we mourn Valora’s loss as well, thank all who contributed to her rich, but too brief journey and offer our condolences to those who will miss her.

Karl Frey
New Canaan, Conn., and Oak Bluffs